Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Going to be Another Strange Year

Already a week has gone by in 2011, and the news seems weirder than ever. Birds and fish are dropping like flies with the most unscientific of explanations concocted.

The U.S. government has attempted to subpoena Twitter communications of the WikiLeaks associates but asked that Twitter not tell anyone about the subpoena, a request Twitter decided to ignore.

A former Air Force official (John Parsons Wheeler III) who was an expert/adviser to Presidents in biowarfare and cyber warfare was found dead --murdered?-- in a landfill after making a strange trip to Wilmington, Delaware and caught on film by camera in a Dupont de Nemours building with one shoe on and one shoe off. Suspicions abound.

And today, I launch my new blog, the purpose of which is to go after all these giants in the news. Will they turn out to be windmills, like those windmills in our minds? It doesn't matter; after all, the true adventure of life is in the chase.

With acknowledgements to Miquel de Cervantes, who experienced the same quandaries about evil giants centuries ago:
At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that there are on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire,
"Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God's good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth."

"What giants?" said Sancho Panza.

"Those thou seest there," answered his master, "with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long."

"Look, your worship," said Sancho; "what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go."

"It is easy to see," replied Don Quixote, "that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat."

So saying, he gave the spur to his steed Rocinante, heedless of the cries his squire Sancho sent after him, warning him that most certainly they were windmills and not giants he was going to attack. He, however, was so positive they were giants that he neither heard the cries of Sancho, nor perceived, near as he was, what they were, but made at them shouting, "Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for a single knight attacks you."

A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great sails began to move, seeing which Don Quixote exclaimed, "Though ye flourish more arms than the giant Briareus, ye have to reckon with me."

So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, imploring her to support him in such a peril, with lance in rest and covered by his buckler, he charged at Rocinante's fullest gallop and fell upon the first mill that stood in front of him; but as he drove his lance-point into the sail the wind whirled it round with such force that it shivered the lance to pieces, sweeping with it horse and rider, who went rolling over on the plain, in a sorry condition. Sancho hastened to his assistance as fast as his ass could go, and when he came up found him unable to move, with such a shock had Rocinante fallen with him.

"God bless me!" said Sancho, "did I not tell your worship to mind what you were about, for they were only windmills? and no one could have made any mistake about it but one who had something of the same kind in his head."

"Hush, friend Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "the fortunes of war more than any other are liable to frequent fluctuations; and moreover I think, and it is the truth, that that same sage Friston who carried off my study and books, has turned these giants into mills in order to rob me of the glory of vanquishing them, such is the enmity he bears me; but in the end his wicked arts will avail but little against my good sword."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And, Dulcinea was actually a prostitute, which just goes to show that extreme idealism might just lead you to syphilis. Just saying. By all means, tilt at windmills all you like. But, whereas Don Quixote's giants were actually windmills, you should actually be more concerned that one of you windmills might actually turn out to be giant, and that he may grind your bones to make his bread. Just a friendly rejoinder.